It’s an important time to honor the dedication of these essential healthcare professionals
Thursday, June 15 is the beginning of the 40th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week. These dedicated healthcare professional provide hands-on care and perform essential tasks for patients, under the supervision of nursing and medical staff.
Nursing assistants are also known as direct care workers, home health aides, nurse’s aides, caregivers, unlicensed assistive personnel, geriatric aides, orderlies, or hospital attendants. More than 4.5 million nursing assistants help vulnerable persons living in nursing homes, their own homes, and other long-term care settings, providing 80–90 percent of the direct care in those facilities. They bring caring, know-how, and patience to their work on a daily basis with those who are frail, elderly, or chronically challenged.
It’s important to take time this week to recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of nursing assistants.
Interesting facts about nursing assistants
- The history of this profession dates back to World War I, when the American Red Cross created the Volunteer Nurses’ Aide Service to train individuals to serve nurses in a support capacity during the war.
- In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act in an attempt to ensure that Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing care and other healthcare facilities were staffed by skilled, well-trained individuals.
- Being a certified nursing assistant can improve your chances of being accepted into a nursing school program.
Ways to appreciate a Nursing Assistant (NA) you know
1. Take videos of clients or co-workers expressing what they appreciate about the NAs in their lives.
2. Handwrite a card articulating what you appreciate about the NA you know.
3. Send flowers or pick a small bouquet of wildflowers.
4. Make a collage of photos to display prominently in your workplace.
5. Plan a potluck meal in honor of your appreciation.
6. Give the NA in your life a gift card to a store that caters to their hobbies and interests.
7. Bring in a homemade treat or baked good, depending on what the NA likes. (It’s always a good idea to find out if they have any preferences or food allergies.)
8. Collect “thank you” notes from clients and family members and create a poster with them.
9. Bring in a massage therapist and offer your NAs a free chair massage.
10. Arrange an informal “awards ceremony” and provide small awards for the NA who is “Most Compassionate,” “Most Reliable,” or “Most Enthusiastic.”
These are just some of the ways you can show nursing assistants in your life or workplace how much you value them. This is a role that we should honor throughout the year, given how many people depend on their care.
This article is part of the Harris Casel Institute’s weekly blog. We conveniently offer a number of career training programs at our campus in Melbourne, FL. Contact us online for more info!